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Up the Capitol Steps
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Up the Capitol Steps is a personal and political memoir by Oregon’s first (and only) woman governor, one of only 34 women who have served as state chief executives in the history of the United States. Barbara Roberts offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a woman’s life in politics and aims to “demystify” leadership by telling the story of her own unlikely rise to power.

The mother of an autistic child before the advent of special education, Roberts began her life in public service as an advocate for the rights of children with disabilities. She documents her expanding political career from school board member to legislator to Secretary of State and finally, Governor. In this gripping and poignant memoir, hotly contested elections and tough policy decisions are interspersed with intimate details of personal ups and downs. Throughout, Roberts reveals the warmth and humor that show the “real” person behind the politician.

Only the third published memoir by a woman head-of-state, Up the Capitol Steps is “a very significant contribution to Oregon history, the history of women in politics, and especially the history of women governors,” according to series editor Melody Rose. Roberts’ autobiography captures a period of our nation’s political history and a view of women’s expanding role in government that will bring new understanding to the term, “social revolution.”

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Dedication
  2. p. vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. viii-ix
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  1. Introduction
  2. p. x
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  1. Chapter 1: The Bombshell
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. Chapter 2: Small-town Girl
  2. pp. 5-13
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  1. Chapter 3: Growing Up Fast
  2. pp. 14-25
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  1. Chapter 4: The Tough Years Begin
  2. pp. 26-30
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  1. Chapter 5: The Tough Years Continue
  2. pp. 31-38
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  1. Chapter 6: Staying Afloat
  2. pp. 39-48
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  1. Chapter 7: Climbing the Ladder
  2. pp. 49-51
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  1. Chapter 8: Frank Roberts, a New Love
  2. pp. 52-60
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  1. Chapter 9: A New Political Partnership
  2. pp. 61-71
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  1. Chapter 10: County Commissioner Roberts
  2. pp. 72-82
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  1. Chapter 11: "A Woman's Place Is in the House"
  2. pp. 83-101
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  1. Chapter 12: Jumping Off the High Board
  2. pp. 102-118
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  1. Chapter 13: 110 Years
  2. pp. 119-130
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  1. Chapter 14: Secretary of State
  2. pp. 131-156
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  1. Chapter 15: Transitions: Public and Private
  2. pp. 157-165
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  1. Chapter 16: Short Notice, Tall Order
  2. pp. 166-184
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  1. Chapter 17: Strategizing Toward Victory
  2. pp. 185-207
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  1. Chapter 18: The Win
  2. pp. 208-216
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  1. Chapter 19: Preparing for Inauguration
  2. pp. 217-234
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  1. Chapter 20: An Agenda of Change
  2. pp. 235-264
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  1. Chapter 21: Challenges and Controversies
  2. pp. 265-306
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  1. Chapter 22: Personal Struggles
  2. pp. 307-328
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  1. Chapter 23: New Tests and New Transitions
  2. pp. 329-357
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  1. Chapter 24: Good Guys with Guns
  2. pp. 358-363
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  1. Chapter 25: The Next Step
  2. pp. 364-378
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  1. Chapter 26: Home to Oregon
  2. pp. 379-388
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  1. Chapter 27: A Decade Alone
  2. pp. 389-396
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  1. Chapter 28: Senior Statesperson
  2. pp. 397-407
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  1. Epilogue: A Few Final Thoughts on Family, Friends, and Feminism
  2. pp. 408-412
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  1. Appendix: Looking Back: Four Years of Accomplishment
  2. pp. 413-416
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 417-431
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 432-438
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